When the new mayor isn't a tech guru

Wed, 2013-11-20 06:00 -- Liz Enbysk

In its just-released rankings of the smartest cities in North America, Fast Company put Seattle, Washington in the No. 1 spot. The magazine noted that Seattle led the pack in smart economy and smart government and got big points for its ability to attract creative and entrepreneurial talent.

There's some irony in that, because Seattle earlier this month elected a new mayor who a former city CTO describes as "no tech guru." But in an article for Crosscut, Bill Schrier offers up a 10-point tech plan he suggests Mayor-elect Ed Murray can use to create "a government that uses technology to facilitate citizen involvement and provide efficient effective services."

Many of the ideas suggested by Schrier, who was Seattle CTO for nine years under two previous mayors, are ones that cities here and there are already doing. But taken as a whole, it's a compelling list – especially for city leaders who want to ratchet up their technology initiatives. We’ve highlighted them here, but jump to the Crosscut article for Schrier's narrative on the importance of each and examples of other cities that have taken similar actions.

1.   Appoint a Chief Innovation Officer.

2.   Join eCityGov.net.

3.   24/7 311.

4.   Mobilize everything.

5.   Start Fastfwd Seattle.

6.   Harness the Internet of Things.

7.   Aim for zero-energy neighborhoods.

8.   Fiber-up.

9.   Commit to an open, transparent government.

10.  Embrace the Cloud.


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